David Houle

David Houle is one of the Co-Founders and Managing Director of the Institute. David Houle is a futurist, thinker and speaker. Houle spent more than 20 years in media and entertainment. He has worked at NBC, CBS and was part of the senior executive team that created and launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News.


Membership Changes to The Sarasota Institute – A 21st Century Think Tank



This is to update you on the big changes that The Sarasota Institute – A 21st Century Think Tank have made since March. We think we have taken a potential risk to the existence of the Institute and converted it into a truly positive new direction.


The fundamental structure of the Institute had been around the production of 4-5 live all day symposiums in the Neel Performing Arts Center on the SCF campus. In addition, members would have access to all video and whitepapers behind the member log-in wall. The annual membership cost was $250 per person. This structure therefore oriented membership to the Gulf Coast region. Both the January and February symposiums were live streamed to the world, with an average of some 500 live streams from 15
countries. This created a small but global awareness of the Institute.


Then COVID-19 came.


The Institute was, perhaps the very first organization in the US to cancel an event due to the virus. On Monday March 2, we made the call to cancel the March 7 symposium on “The New Health Age of the 21st Century”. [The NBA cancellation of their season, the event which triggered the first major wave of cancellations, was on March 11]. All of our scheduled speakers, mostly from the medical profession, immediately agreed. We knew that the average age of our membership was around 60-65 and we did not want to put our members at risk in the slightest.


Then we had four Zoom webinars on how COVID-19 might affect Higher Education, Capitalism, Democracy and Climate Change, four of our ten areas of thought. Many of you attended these. Once they were completed, we then thought through our options and realized that converting to an on-line and virtual mode of operation was the only way to go. Coincidentally we had a surge of downloads of our initial whitepaper from a number of countries around the world, particularly India. This resulted in some requests from companies there and elsewhere to inquire about how they could become members.


We then undertook a complete redesign of everything including our web site. You can go to the same place and see the update: . We did this with our in-kind sponsor What2Design.


Here are the highlights for members:


Annual Membership has gone from $250 to $125


All existing members and those that paid for symposiums earlier this year will have their memberships extend through 12/31/21, a 12 to 18-month free extension.


The Institute will present 10 monthly webinars on the first Thursday of every month, except the months of January and June when we will produce two virtual symposiums each for four hours on a single day. ALL of this content will be for members only and can be experienced live or after the event via recording, behind the member sign-in wall. This new format allows us to cover all ten topics at the top of our web site, every year.


As of now, the specifics of all webinars have yet to be posted. Our first step was to manage the conversion. The second step was to inform you, our members. The third step is to promote the new structure and membership, starting after this email is sent. The fourth step is to start booking the fall webinars. The primary variables will be getting the highest level of presenters and subject matter experts scheduled around each topic. This will determine the sequence of the webinars.


We hope that all of you are well and are taking all necessary precautions during this unprecedented time of pandemic and political leadership collapse. As you will learn, these two dynamics have accelerated fundamental changes in several of our topics.


Please make sure to take a quick tour of your new web site and let us know what you think. We look forward to setting a dynamic course of leading 21st Century thinking from this point forward.


To become a member, go to the web site  

Then go to the upper right hand of the landing page and click on “Become a Member”  then follow the prompts.  Discounts are available for 3 or 5 memberships that are purchased at the same time.

We thank you for your support and participation.


Become a member today!

David Houle

Co-Founder, Managing Director

The Sarasota Institute – A 21st Century Think Tank